Prairie Farm Seed
Issue of The Seed Piece:
Garden View from The Big Easy.
Friday, January 28, 2011
Recipe: Chocolate Cake
The Big Easy.
I got back early this morning at 1:30AM, 94 hours
mid-winter adventure began on Monday morning. I
was in New Orleans attending the Direct
Gardening Association (the
brand new name for the former Mailorder Gardening Assoc). The
77-year-old DGA is the world’s
association of gardening companies that sell direct to consumers. Our
meeting and the conference itself came off without a hitch. Travel
back to Maine was another story.
This week’s latest East coast snowstorm created chaos in
northeastern airport hubs.
In the end it took an extra day to make it back home.
Our DGA meeting was
held in at the historic Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans’s
you’ve ever wondered
whether all the fuss
and hullabaloo associated with New Orleans is warranted, from what I
yes I’d say it is completely justified. The Cajun culture
(decendents of the
Acadian French up our way in northern Maine and the Maritimes) has
resisted the homogenization that the rest of America has endured. For
us who appreciate authenticity, New Orleans is a subtropical bohemia
One of the major themes
at this DGA convention was Trends in the Garden Industry. Back
once again to present his research was
Bruce Butterfield, Research Director of the National Gardening
been analyzing the
garden industry for the NGA for over thirty years.
Last year three out
of four households –
about 83 million – participated in do-it-yourself (DIY)
two percent from the year prior. The Great Recession, cutting across
sectors of the economy, has taken a hit on overall DIY gardening
dollar-wise spend was
down 16% last
year from the previous five year average of $35.4 billion. Separate
from DIY gardening, lawn and
landscape services have tumbled an incredible 44% in the last three
But here’s the good
lawn and garden category
with increased sales last year was food gardening - up for a second
year in a
row, and last year up by 21%. This year 20% of gardeners plan to spend
food gardening. There is reason to believe that the current food
growth is more sustainable and on a firmer footing than in past periods
economic turmoil. Expectations are for 10% food gardening growth this
Bruce also shared the findings
of the 2010 Global Garden Report conducted by Kairos Future in
identified Ten Top
click here for your FREE downloadable copy
of the 2010 Global Garden Report.
- Kitchen Gardening.
- Organic Gardening.
- Feel-Good Gardening.
- The Designed &
- The Social Garden.
- Urban Farming.
- The Lush Garden.
- Container Gardening.
- Greenhouse Gardening.
Big report - high speed internet access is recommended.
Chocolate Cake with Beets.
Servings: Makes a 9-inch cake
* 1 cup
packed light or dark brown sugar
cup vegetable oil
* 2 large
* 3 ounces
semisweet or bittersweet chocolate , melted and
* 1/2 cup
puree , about 4 medium Red
boiled and pureed in food processor)
* 1/2 cup
* 2 cups
Cream Cheese Frosting:
* 1 package
ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese
* 3/4 cup
* 1/2 cup
unsweetened cocoa powder
pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a 9-inch baking pan.
In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer,
beat the brown sugar with the oil until creamy. Add the eggs and beat
Beat in the melted chocolate, beet puree, buttermilk and vanilla.
Add the flour, baking soda and salt, and beat until smooth.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake until a toothpick
comes out clean when inserted into the center, 35 to 40 minutes. Let
cool 5 minutes in pan before turning out onto a rack to cool
Meanwhile, make the frosting. Beat the cream cheese with the
confectioners' sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla until smooth. Slice the
half horizontally. Spread the frosting over the top and between layers
Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Adapted From the book Deceptively
here for our Organic Grains Section
Day Coming. Chocolate Cake with Beets
by Angela Wotton
FREE Organic Sweet
Red Bliss Beets
Beets are an
appreciated element of our winter’s diet. They
are adaptable and can be prepared in many
Cake With Beets featured
Seed Piece’s Recipe section demonstrates the beet
Here’s your chance
to earn a FREE
2 lbs bag of organic Sweet Red Bliss Beets ($11.95 value) with
your next purchase of $45 or more. Offer
ends Monday January 31.
code WPF 1018. Order
ship by 2/9/11.
combined with other offers. Please call or click today!
Mailbox: Clarity and NFU Policy on RR Alfalfa.
Thank you for taking the time to
concerns. I greatly appreciated your reference to policy in your letter.
I respect the NFU Policy (J.11.g) which
the prohibition of GMOs in organic. GMOs are an excluded
from USDA NOP regulations. And excluded means excluded. We
honor expectations of organic customers and farmers when it comes to
reasonably assuming that organic products are entirely
NFU Policy J.11.h articulates how we
GMO exclusion from organic and boldly supports the requirement that
organic farmers should be protected from genetic pollution. The NFU
Policy is sound. The NFU Policy respects hundreds of years
of Common Law: the polluter's genetic pollution must be fenced in and
must not contaminate and violate neighbors. Neighbors' right to freedom
from injury and invasion is encapsulated in the expression "A man's
home is his castle." Again, hundreds of years of Common Law
us the right to be secure in our "castle", our homes, our farms. I'm
grateful and I have been proud that NFU Policy acknowledges and
supports this sacred right.
NFU Policy J.12.a calls for a
moratorium on the
patenting and licensing of GMO animals and plants until "broader legal,
ethical and economic questions are resolved." It is clear
questions are anything but resolved. This same NFU Policy
continues in stating that the GMO moratorium is required "until issues
of cross-pollination, liability, commodity and seed stock segregation
and market acceptance are adequately addressed." It is clear
these issues have barely been touched upon and most certainly not been
NFU Policy J.12.g requires that "New
involving GMOs be certified as safe by the FDA in testing done
independantly of the patent holder." It is clear that independent
testing of RR alfalfa has not been performed.
The USDA APHIS analysis of RR alfalfa's
environmental and economic impact has been shoddy and preordained.
I believe that the spirit and the
letter of NFU
Policy makes it absolutely clear that NFU should oppose deregulation of
RR alfalfa and should support an immediate moratorium on GMOs.
The collective NFU Policies represent
convictions. If we are courageous, live up to our
act faithfully, and are proactive in defending farmers facing
oppression and marginalization, we will deserve and earn the respect of
our NFU member community and of the broader agricultural community. NFU
will stand for principle and rightness and we will deserve to prosper
Board of Advisors
New England Farmers Union
[The above letter
was part of an exchange sent to Roger Johnson, President of the
107-year-old National Farmers Union. In his reply, Roger stated that
NFU is opposed to Roundup Ready (GMO) alfalfa. American agriculture
needs a progressive voice on the national scene and NFU needs your
backing. Whether you are a farmer or a supporter of farmers, please
consider joining NFU http://nfu.org/. If you reside in New
join NEFU http://www.newenglandfarmersunion.org/, the New England chapter
of NFU today!
De-Regulate GMO Alfalfa.
pressure from the biotech industry, Secretary of Agriculture Tom
Vilsack yesterday ignored the pleas of the organic community and moved
to de-regulate Monsanto's Roundup Ready alfalfa and allow it to be
planted this Spring. Vilsack failed to address objections that such an
action will lead to the contamination of organic crops. NEFU (New England Farmers
Union) is urging
citizens to call the White House (202.456.1111) and urge President
Obama to overrule his Secretary. Meanwhile,
our friends at
Center for Food Safety vowed that they would challenge Vilsack's move
here for the full story from CFS.
|DOJ Reverses Policy on
a landmark decision last
Fall, the Department of Justice reversed decades of longstanding policy
and decared that human and other genes should not be eligible for
patents because they are a part of nature. The DOJ reversal supported
the March ruling of US District Court Judge Robert Sweet in a case
brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Public
Patent Foundation. Mere
isolation of a gene, the court said, was
not grounds for a patent.
here for the New York Times article.
& Megan Gerritsen
Certified Organic, Direct from the Farm